Brent Burns #8 (R) of the Minnesota Wild greets James Sheppard #51 (L) after Sheppard's third period goal against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center on September 29, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Wild defeated the Flyers 5-4 in the shoot out.
(September 28, 2009 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

PHT Morning Skate: Where James Sheppard is looking to revive his hockey career


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

After they each enjoyed stints with the Chicago Blackhawks last season, Brandon Bollig, Brandon Saad, and Andrew Shaw are back with the AHL Rockford IceHogs. Their respective goals of solidifying themselves at the NHL level are on hold until the lockout ends. (CSNChicago)

Meanwhile AHL Chicago Wolves skating and skills coach Kenny McCudden has started to assisted the locked-out Blackhawks in their practices. (CSNChicago)

In Ottawa the number of locked-out players participating in Tuesday’s on-ice workout was nine. Their ranks are likely to continue to dwindle as more players head to Europe. Peter Regin and Milan Michalek might be the next to go among the Senators. (Ottawa Citizen)

James Sheppard was taken with the ninth overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He made it into the NHL straight from the QMJHL and played in 224 games with the Minnesota Wild. However, he’s only played in four games — all in the AHL — since suffering a major knee injury in the summer of 2010. He’s better now and looking to restart his career with the AHL Worcester Sharks while the lockout drags on. (CSNBayArea)

Taylor Hall is focused on making sure his shoulder heals properly instead of rushing back. (Edmonton Journal)

JC Lipon is the Canadian Hockey League player of the week. (

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.

Kings, NHLPA announce settlement in Richards grievance

Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers

The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”

The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.

The NHLPA released a similar statement.

It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.

We’re starting to find out some details now:

How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?

Stay tuned.